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Solar Panel Deadline in the Indian State of West Bengal

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It is now time for West Bengal to get “Solarized”

As per the new order by Calcutta High Court, all civic bodies in West Bengal need to ensure that all high rises install solar panels on their roofs within the next four months. The power utilities in the state are also required to generate or purchase at least 10% of their capacity from renewable sources. The JNNSM also demand more weightage on the clean sources of energy.

West Bengal has always stayed behind in the Renewable energy adoption. Given below is the Renewable Energy Report card for states:

Source: Greenpeace

According to the above, West Bengal is amongst the last ranking states. The state largely depends on Coal for its energy usage. The West Bengal Municipal Act and the Kolkata Municipal Act had mandated the installation of solar panels on roofs of building higher than 14.5 meters (approximately 4-5 storied buildings). But no action was taken. Neither do public nor private buildings have abided by the rules. Also in contrast to the 10% purchase of renewable energy sources for power utilities, the figure today stands at just 0.5% in West Bengal. The West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission has been asked by the Court to look into the above matter.

Also the State needs to create more awareness about the disadvantages of using coal as the main source of energy and the pros of shifting to the more cleaner and greener Renewable energy sources. The Government has supported the movement by not imposing taxes of any sort on the usage of solar panels and other renewable energy equipments.

What is happening in the other Indian States

There has been an increased awareness about rooftop installations in the states of India. The Indian State of Tamil Nadu has already set a target of 350 MW of solar rooftop installation by 2015. The Gujarat government has already piloted the solar rooftop by giving two 2.5 MW projects to solar developers. The Delhi government too had proposed a program where homeowners could lend their roofs to solar developers before abandoning it. The government of Karnataka is also in the process of identifying large commercial buildings where large solar installations of 100 kw capacity can be built. Note even without subsidies industrial customers are looking to build solar arrays on their roofs to reduce the increasing electricity prices which have reached Rs 10-12/kwh, in some parts of the country like Maharashtra.

Electricity in the Indian states is not only expensive, but also highly unreliable and of low quality. Low voltages and blackouts of 10 hours are not uncommon. Hence it is important that the states of India realize the importance of rooftop installation and take proper steps.

Times of India

Calcutta high court directed all civic bodies in West Bengal, including the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), to ensure that all highrises install solar panels on their roofs within the next four months.

“The West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993, mandates that all buildings 14.5 metres in height or higher (about four-storied high), need to install solar panels on their roofs. Similarly, the KMC Act, 1980, also makes it clear that all buildings 15.5 metres (about five-storied high) in height or higher need to have solar panels on the roofs. I pointed out to the court that even the residence of the chief justice of Delhi HC has solar panels on its roof. But here, leave alone private buildings, even government ones don’t abide by the rules. After hearing this, the court directed all civic bodies in West Bengal to ensure that the structures install solar panels on their roofs within four months,” Datta said.



Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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